The opportunities for learning at Goose Creek State Park are abundant. There is a wide array of ranger-led programs available to families and organized groups. The park's Environmental Education and visitor center houses educational exhibits, a wet lab with microscopes and video projection equipment, and a multipurpose auditorium. A short walk from the center, a screened-in outdoor classroom sits among the towering trees of a mixed forest. Two interpretive trails lay in close proximity. Park rangers attend workshops and receive other training to earn the professional accreditation of Certified Environmental Educators. Drawing on their vast experience, the rangers present programs and activities that suit the unique needs of each audience. Groups should contact the park at least two weeks in advance to schedule a program. All programs are free of charge. Check the Events calendar for more information.
Goose Creek State Park's Environmental Education Learning Experience materials have been developed for grades 4 - 6 and are correlated to North Carolina's competency-based curriculum in science, social studies, mathematics and English/language arts. The Goose Creek program introduces students to wetland processes and functions and discusses how wetlands affect humans and the area's natural environment. The program also focuses on water quality, resource management, adaptations and stewardship. Accompanying the program is a teacher's booklet and workshop, free of charge to educators.
The environmental education and visitor center has the right tools to open your eyes to the natural world of wetlands! Visitors are greeted with the sights and sounds of a wetland as soon as they enter the lobby. Mounts of birds in flight along the corridor overhead and interactive exhibits with sounds of wetland animals add to the feeling of being right in a marsh or hardwood swamp. In addition, a five-minute film is available to introduce visitors to the park and its creatures.
Visitors can learn more about animals that live in the wetlands in the Discovery Room. Mounts, replicas and animal signs allow close-up study and encourage hands-on learning. The Discovery Room also has a bird observation station, a table with an excellent view of the bird feeders outside. Sit down and take a moment to see which birds stop by.